A Time for Honesty

I have recently been thinking a lot about the role of photoshop in digital photography. This question keeps popping into my mind: Has photoshop made us all better photographers? And always the follow-up question: CAN photoshop make us better photographers?

I think I have recently fallen into the trap of having a “save the rest for photoshop” vision about my photos I am creating. I think in some ways that’s limiting, because I’m not thinking about how I can make the photo incredible NOW….rather I am thinking about later. A later that often never comes because I may lose or forget that vision, run out of time, run out of motivation, or the client may not even pick that series to print. I think photoshop can make us better photographers if we invest all of our inspiration, creativity, and technicality AS we shoot in such a way that we will deceive others into believing that our images are photoshopped.

With that said, I had a fun photoshoot and shot better than I’ve shot for a long time because I was determined to make everything LOOK photoshopped without any intervention by adobe. It’s certainly the beginning of a new challenge, but I think it’s a good start. The images below are strait out of camera….no color adjustments, no exposure corrections, no lightroom presets. I was even tempted to convert one image to black and white. But instead, I will expose myself as a photographer, not as a photoshopper.

I will say, these are the most photographed candles in history….they are used as subjects in every single photography class we teach. Every one of our students has taken pictures of these candles.

More about Amber

Born in Denver, CO and raised in Upstate New York, I have traveled the world and now happily live near Mullica Hill, NJ in South Jersey with my 3 boys and baby girl on 4 acres of woods. I've enjoyed shooting since 2001, officially becoming a business in 2006. Although photography brings me much joy, I try to find ways to craft and create in other mediums too!

4 thoughts on “A Time for Honesty

  1. Kara

    What a brilliant plan. I also may rely too much on photoshop. I will have to continue to learn more so I can follow your lead.


  2. Maman Pélissié

    I think a few things.
    Obviously, I believe in proper exposure and composition. But I think if you have a well thought out plan, wherein photoshop plays a part, then in the end you are accomplishing your goal. It is a tool. For example, I recently have been playing around with over-exposing my photos on purpose, knowing that in RAW I would adjust them to look vintage. It worked. I needed Photoshop to get to my end goal.
    I think it is good to remember that people define their work. their art, in their own way.


  3. Dustin

    Well said…..I think the key is to have a vision. If you have a vision and it involves photoshop, that’s awesome! (Which is where the pictures above came in). But I do wonder if I can fool anybody with a shot strait out of camera 🙂


  4. Maman Pélissié

    I’m sure you could Dustin! Hopefully it will be one with you and your crazy faces!


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